8 Buyers, 1 Store, 8000 Wines

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On 3:17 PM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine   No comments

Located to the southwest of Catalonia, Priorat DOCa is perhaps the second most historic wine region of Spain. The region’s wine heritage dates back to the 12th century when the Carthusian monks of Scala Dei introduced the art of viticulture to the area.

The DO of Priorat was formally created in 1954, and for much of its early history, the production of bulk wine dominated the area. Much of the stardom of in the early 1990s is owed to visionary winemakers René Barbier and Álvaro Palacios. The DOCa designation gives Priorat one the of two such honors in Spain.

The Priorat region is of volcanic origin, which gives the soil some unique characteristics. The bedrock (called Llicorella in Catalán) is made up of layers of slate with small particles of mica, which reflects the sunlight and conserves heat. The 2 foot thick topsoil is formed of decomposed slate and mica. These characteristics force the roots of the vines to reach into cracks in the bedrock for water, nutrition and minerals.

The nutrient poor soil of Priorat yields wine with a lower PH, resulting in brighter and fresher wines. Priorat's most unique points is the fact that it combines the acidity of cool-climate and the ripe tannins of warm climate. Priorat is a clear example of how "terroir" really matters in wine.

The most important variety in Priorat wines is Garnacha, or Garnatxa as it's locally known. 
Garnatxa is often blended with CarignanMerlotCabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Priorat wines are as unique as any other terroir-driven reds. The combination of its unique soil and climate makes Priorat one of the most intriguing and historic wine regions of the world.

Our wine buyer Oscar Garcia has sniffed our some exceptional finds, and we're excited to experience (and drink!) true-to-form Priorat for under $20. We think the following six wines represent some of the best finds coming out of the region today.

La Cartuja Priorat 2010: An extraordinary value from Priorat! Bodegas La Cartuja is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 30% Mazuelo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. La Cartuja is a small production estate-bottled cuvée that intends to show the mineral and spice of the DO of Priorat in a youthful (Joven) style. What makes La Cartuja unique? Estate owned and small production, organic viticulture and a short oak aging period make La Cartuja a unique wine that shows depth and drinkability while young. Bright red berry flavors, accents of spice, and seamless structure make La Cartuja my go-to wine for any occasion. – Oscar Garcia, Wine Buyer

Cesca Vicent Priorat 2009: Unlike other Priorats that are full-bodied and very concentrated, Cesca Vicent is the opposite. A seamless mineral touch adds depth to the wine and the minerality wraps around all corners of your palate. A very enticing wine to be taken very seriously. – Oscar Garcia, Wine Buyer

Click here to find our entire selection of wines from Priorat.


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